Thursday, October 11, 2007

Editorial: Vote 'yes' on Amendment 3

The editorial board of the Monroe News-Star supports proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 on the October 20th election ballot. The amendment, by state Sen. Walter Boasso, would prohibit the creation of new or enhanced state retirement benefits without the identification of a funding source which will pay for the benefits within ten years.

Proposed Amendment No. 3: Yes.

If voters must amend the Constitution, they should do so on the side of fiscal responsibility. As a state, we've promised a bundle of money in retirement to state employees. Right now, the tab stands at some $12 billion, for many current mandates for state retirement pay were not accompanied by the means to fund those benefits. This amendment require that future benefits must be paired with a funding source and that any debt for increased benefits must be paid in 10 years, not the 30 years in which current debt is being paid. A perfect solution? No. But more prudent than in the past? Yes.
Proposed Amendment 3 also has the endorsement of the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), which calls it "an added degree of discipline to help ensure that the politically popular rush to increase employee benefits doesn’t outrun our ability to pay for them."

The Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) has an analysis of all proposed constitutional amendments on the October 20th ballot.

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